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NASCAR’s Landscape Drastically Different Since Dale Earnhardt’s Passing

Dale Earnhardt would have turned 61 on Sunday.Few NASCAR fans need a refresher on the career of the man they called "The Intimidator," a seven-time champion and 76-race winner in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series. After all, his merchandise trailer still does some of the highest sales at the track each weekend.But were Earnhardt to magically appear and survey the landscape of the sport in which he made his living, he would need more than a refresher—he'd need an entire class.For one, the name "Sprint Cup" would be foreign to Earnhardt. He drove during the Winston Cup era that lasted through 2003, before tobacco laws dictated the need for a new presenting sponsor. Cell phone provider Nextel answered the call in 2004, lasting t...

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